Posts tagged Crime
Posts tagged Crime
The backpedaling has begun:
National Security Minister Jack Warner emailed the following statement, at about 9.45 pm, to clarify his statements made earlier to reporters.
ISSUE: PNM MURDER
“The statement was inferred to a select few front line opposition members of Parliament who have continued to make negative statements which may have the effect of nullifying the gains made over the last month, instead of looking at ways in which we could work together to ensure the statistics remain in check.
This in no way includes the membership of the party - even though I may not agree with their political affiliation, I respect them as citizens of this country.
I am incensed when I hear of “but one murder”…we have always said one murder is one murder too many - let us agree not to use this as a political football but to engage in supporting the men and women of the protective services in continuing the excellent work they have been doing - and the gains they have made.”
“The intent of this measure is to seek to ensure that crime statistics are not sensationalised thereby acting as a domino effect in certain hot spot areas and causing an escalation of crime in that hotspot area.
The issue is not about withholding the statistics — it is about the management of the sensitive information that many times is released along with the statistic that always has the potential to inflame additional crime — particularly when treating with the issue of gangs and the ‘gang culture’.
For instance, there is no issue with stating that there may have been a homicide in area ‘X’, the issue becomes more challenging when the information released includes the homicide in area ‘X’, along with the homicide being gang related, and involving person ‘Y’…this is a recipe for unnecessarily inflamed tensions.
Therefore my statement was earmarked to avoid unnecessary murders and escalation of crime in hot spots, and not in any way a means of muzzling the freedom of information, and I apologise if it may have been taken out of context.”
National Security Minister Jack Warner, commenting on the murder of Stephon Morris, who was shot multiple times by two gunman at about 3 o’clock this morning.
Warner went on to declare that he had instructed the T&T Police Service to cease providing murder statistics to the media (and, by extension, the public) because the PNM (who he says orchestrated the murder) are using the stats to encourage crime in hotspots.
He also said that the murder could have been avoided if the PNM would stop sponsoring crime and glamorizing murder.
This is our Minister of National Security. So incensed by the fact Stephon had the nerve to be brutally murdered in the area that he just declared murder-free (yesterday, in fact) that he is spouting such madness.
The only metric by which we can judge Warner’s performance are crime statistics, and murder statistics in particular. By effectively issuing a blackout on those stats, Warner has issued himself a blank cheque to declare success. He’s also removed one of the few tangible forms of evidence that his Government is sleeping on the job.
Well done, Warner. How much more of this are we going to take?
If the presence of police and army personnel in Laventille is reduced, daily murders in east Port-of-Spain will resume. This was the fear of several residents of the Beverly Hills, Laventille, community yesterday, a month since the community recorded its last murder.
When a news team from the T&T Guardian visited several of the communities yesterday morning, most residents expressed their support of joint police and army patrols, which were implemented early last month by National Security Minister Jack Warner in the wake of several reprisal killings.
So here’s the thing about the joint police/army patrols in Laventille. They’re not sustainable. Nor are they part of any sensible crime plan. What they are is a triage response to an emergency situation, which is fine, because the situation in Laventille has been an emergency for some time.
Of course the people of Laventille are happy about it (the law-abiding ones, anyway), because it means no more stray bullets, no more fear of walking the streets after dark, no more hearing your community shouted out as the nation’s murder capitol. Who wouldn’t love it?
But here’s the problem: the police and army can’t possibly conduct 24/7 patrols in Laventille indefinitely. Something has to be done about the root cause of the violence. Aside from the Hoop For Life programme (which is a national joke), I’ve heard talk about refurbishing the neglected and dilapidated community, providing jobs (which usually means CEPEP and URP), building community centres and sports facilities, etc., but I’ve heard nothing about a coherent plan for tackling the climate which causes the violence in the first place.
I’m not necessarily saying that there is no coherent plan (though, given this government’s track record…) I’m just saying that I haven’t heard one. And I worry about the people of Laventille. What will happen when the Army goes back to the barracks and the police can no longer make 24/7 patrols?
MINISTER OF the People and Social Development, Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, was robbed of cash, jewelry, and items at his home on Saturday.
Ramadharsingh told police that he secured and left his home at Plaisance Park, Cunupia, at around 1p.m.
When he returned at around 6.30 pm, Ramadharsingh found that a door had been broken open.
Ramadharsingh reported being robbed of $27,000, a quantity of jewelry — the value to be ascertained — a PlayStation 3 and Xbox game systems.
Ramadharsingh could not be contacted last night for comment.
When I hear a story like this one, I struggle mightily to resist the wave of schadenfreude that threatens to overwhelm me. Particularly because I’ve been there and I know the difference between the attention that was paid to our case and the attention that will likely be paid to his.
DESPITE public criticisms in many quarters over the failure by law enforcement agencies to successfully employ the anti-gang legislation during last year’s state of emergency, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan disagrees and says the legislation has served the purpose for which it was enacted — as a deterrent and psychological weapon against gang-related activity.
Ramlogan was asked whether the legislation was successful as it has been pointed out that during the period of the state of emergency, last year, law enforcement agencies were unable to detect, arrest or convict perpetrators of gang violence.
But according to the Attorney General, the legislation’s main intent was to psychologically break the gang and recruitment of gang members.
According to Ramlogan, similarly drafted legislation globally are infrequently used for prosecution or convictions, unless in the event of a riot, as was seen in London in the United Kingdom in August of last year.
Somebody, anybody, please explain to me how a law that has failed to be enforced (at all) can work as “a deterrent and psychological weapon against gang-related activity”.
I’m really, truly asking.
And, while you’re clarifying that, if you could throw in explanation for how gangs have been “psychologically” broken when the police have been blaming every other murder on gang activity, I’d really appreciate that as well.
National Security Minister Jack Warner has set us all straight.
Never mind that the murder toll stood at 263 on Monday (I hear that at least four more have died since then).
Never mind that the police are a running joke among the criminal element and a source of fear and/or consternation for many law-abiding citizens.
Never mind that, one year after the limited unlimited State of Emergency, we (The People) still have no explanation for why it was called, no proof that it worked and no crime plan going forward (yet).
Those things are not the problem. The problem is that the media is sensationalizing the steadily climbing murder toll. The fact that they dare to continue publishing the figures, with no regard for what this information is doing to the country’s international profile … that’s the problem.
Why, look at Jamaica! They’ve got lots more murders than we do and they don’t publish anything about crime and corruption! Except here and here, of course. But they definitely don’t keep a running tally of the murders, which is why everyone wants to vacay in Kingston.
At this point, it seems futile to point out all the ways that Jack Warner (and pretty much every other politician in this country) is full of little more than empty rhetoric, but the fact that anyone is still listening and believing this nonsense gives me the energy to keep ranting.
Keep it coming, Jack.
I suspect that I may have done a post about this before, but bear with me here; I want to make sure we’re all on the same page.
For the purposes of this post, let’s all agree that a homicide is not the same thing as a murder. So that, the police can say that there have been 252 homicides (the unlawful killing of another person) and 236 murders (the intentional killing of a person). Which means that 16 people were unintentionally unlawfully killed.
With me? Good. Next thing:
The police declare a case to be “solved” when they charge someone for the crime. Even though a charged person is innocent until proven guilty.
I know what you’re wondering: is the case still considered “solved” if the charged person is not convicted? Your guess is as good as mine, but let’s not get sidetracked, because we’re coming to the point here:
Of the 236 murders that happened between January 1st and July 25th, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service have “solved” 30.
Remember, we’re not talking about people being declared guilty, here. Just folks being charged with a crime. 12.7%.
Horrified? No worries, because:
In a telephone interview with the Express yesterday, police spokesman Sgt Wayne Mystar said the figures were just a representation of the murders “solved” so far and the numbers will be increasing as time goes by.
“It’s just a matter of acquiring the necessary evidence; people are presently being interviewed. We have suspects (in custody), and it is just a matter of time before they are charged,” Mystar said, adding the police would like to see the solve rate at 100 per cent.
There. Feel better?
Residents of the Flagstaff gated community (where former National Security Minister Martin Joseph was robbed) say that robbery isn’t unusual, even in that rarefied environment:
One resident who did not want to be named told the Express that “our community is much a part of Trinidad and Tobago as everywhere else and yes we do have break-ins as well”.
“In fact we have had a couple over the years but I cannot tell you exactly when they happened,” he added.
He also said there were regular mobile and foot patrols by their security officers on a two-hour basis.
“Sometimes you see them walking through the compound, sometimes they drive but what you have to remember, this is a large compound with lots of corners so a bandit may be in someone’s garden bushes and he may not be seen,” said the resident.
Mobile and foot patrols every two hours and a couple of robberies over the years? No, anonymous Flagstaff resident, your community is not as much a part of T&T as anywhere else.
Joseph, who served as national security minister from 2003 to 2007, then from 2007 to 2010, said in a statement to the media that he was at home when the bandit struck.
Joseph said: “Around 11.30 p.m on Sunday, July 22, I was at my home at Flagstaff, Long Circular, when my stepson entered the house. I noticed that a masked man armed with a gun had followed him into the house.
“Upon entering the house, the man announced a robbery and proceeded to hog-tie my stepson. There was a short confrontation between the gunman and, I as I tried to wrestle the gun away from his hands, I too was hog-tied as the bandit proceeded to rob me and others in the house.”
Joseph added: “The robber then made his way upstairs to the bedrooms of the house and it was during that time I was able to untie myself, escape and call for help. The police were contacted and they arrived shortly after on the scene.”
I’m no fan of Joseph, but I don’t wish tragedy on anyone. As someone whose family was robbed twice in 5 years in this country, I understand what he went through. Do I sympathize? Not particularly.
As a general rule, crime doesn’t touch the upper class members of this society and I often wonder whether that’s why the fundamental issues that cause it are ignored. It’s no secret that the administration treats their own very differently than they treat the rest of us. Maybe this is the motivation they’ve been waiting for to really do something.
National Security Minister Jack Warner
Quote of the Day
I get the sneaking suspicion that Warner’s going to be the QotD MVP around these parts… the man makes magic with sound bites, I tell you.
This particular gem was in response to the fact that the family of murdered Chinese couple Yang Jiang Hua and his wife Wu Xia Hua are expressing frustration with the speed at which his promises are being fulfilled.
Now, I find myself perplexed here. Because the Hua couple was killed a little over a week ago. I don’t know how long the family has lived in Trinidad, but it’s common knowledge that the detection rate here is dismal. So, the odds of the killer actually being caught are already pretty slim. Like Warner, I’m not sure what they expected to happen within a week.
On the other hand, when the National Security Minister shows up to your home with the media in tow, bows at your altar, and promises action, maybe you expect something out of the ordinary?
I mean, despite the reasonable quote above, Warner himself admits that he “visited the family’s home to empathise with them, asked the police to accelerate the investigations, requested an enquiry into the two police officers accused of responding slowly and had written to the Chinese Embassy to express condolences.”
That’s already much better treatment than the vast majority of crime victims get in this country. Is it any wonder they expected someone from the National Security Ministry to attend the funeral?
Too much PR and not enough action, Jack.
Our new National Security Minister is off to a great start, I tell you.
Jack Warner just had a meeting with a “special group” in the the well-known crime hotspot of Maloney and, in doing so, he may have slighted another “special group”, with which the first “special group” currently has a shaky cease fire.
Warner’s response to such concerns (that he was just responding to an invitation by someone who worked closely with the first “special group”) gives me the sneaking suspicion that the possibility of such an issue never crossed his mind.
The mystery man accused of scamming Nikki Minaj’s camp out of $100,000 says that he never received a cent. In fact, he says they owe him US$19,000 for “consultancy fees, equipment rentals and services”, and he’s considering legal action to recover the money.
But I wonder, as he says that the allegations have destroyed his reputation, where this came from:
The Express learned that the man, who himself owns a video production business, has in the past taken money from local event producers and others several times promising to provide various services that he never delivered on or provided shoddy service, often times at the very last minute after having been confronted and threatened.
And why, if people are bombarding his Facebook wall and calling and emailing him about it, his identity still remains a(n open) secret.
Economic hardship really brings out the worst in human beings. This is disgusting:
Violence against legal and illegal immigrants has surged to “alarming proportions” as Greece suffers through one of the world’s worst economic contractions since the Great Depression, the New York Times finds. The far-right Golden Dawn party made huge gains in the country’s recent elections, and its supporters, who have vowed to “rid the land of filth,” have stepped up attacks on immigrant homes and businesses. Human rights groups say police routinely look the other way, and sometimes even hand out Golden Dawn’s phone number to citizens who complain about crime and immigrants.
I had really hoped we were past this kind of thing.